*** Official "BIRTHDAY GIRL" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for Birthday Girl. Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of Birthday Girl should be posted to this thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Since I don't see too many people going to see this one, I'll start the discussion thread with myself.

    DAMN, is Nicole Kidman a hottie! Right?
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    She sure is, Scott! You are a genius movie critic and very clever as well.
     
  4. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
    I agree, she's pretty, and she certainly has a nice voice. But something about the way she carries herself at times onscreen greatly irks me; as a general rule, I cannot stand her. However, last year two of her movies were in my top 10 list (The Others and Moulin Rouge). I guess that says more about what I think of the quality of the movies than my opinion of her. Still, it's precisely because of her that I'll avoid seeing Birthday Girl. Unlike Moulin Rouge (which I also avoided for the exact same reason), I don't think I have any fear of missing a great movie -- rottentomatoes.com has this one in as rotten (though barely).
    Besides, I'd rather have Audrey Tautou first [​IMG]
     
  5. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Scott, I think her feminine wiles have clouded your judgment. She looks fine in Birthday Girl, but the film, especially the second half, is vacant.

    I think one of the most interesting things about Kidman as an actress is that she often plays cold or unlikable characters. To Die For, Malice (if memory serves), The Portrait of a Lady, Eyes Wide Shut, and both 2001 films don't exactly present an actress looking to be America's sweetheart. (This goes back to Flirting too, if, again, my memory is right.) Yet she has become more popular as time passes and has generally picked adventurous roles. Maybe she's taken more risks than she would have if she didn't have to prove herself as more than "Mrs. Tom Cruise". With her track record, I'm at least somewhat interested to see a movie with her (but let's forget all about Practical Magic).
     
  6. Eric Walsh

    Eric Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought I would be fair and go see the movie, since I saw Tom's Vanilla Sky. You know...keep it even between the two. I think Tom just does better movies and this once again proved my point. Loved Vanilla Sky, Liked Birthday Girl. I mean it had potential and then just left me wishing for more. More of that strangeness in the beginning. The way no one could connect. I don't know just after the russian thrill went away so did the movie for me. It got kind of cutesy and all that. "are you a giraffe" that irked me. Oh well, went to a good resturant afterwords, got a good margarita and all is well. [​IMG]
    -Eric
     
  7. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    In the review thread Scott said:
     
  8. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Mark,

    You mentioned in your review the seeming insignificance of the title, however...

    It's clear from the series of Polaroids shown to John that the birthday angle is used every time they pull the con.

    Otherwise, I agree with you completely. This was rather quirky and interesting up to a certain point, then everything just shut down and coasted to the ending, which really didn't resolve much at all.
     
  9. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Derek,
    I guess we can assume that all prior photos have been taken at her birthday, but the fact that it is her birthday doesn't really matter. They could have shown up at any other time, as if they just happened to be in town. Or maybe I just have a problem with titles. Slackers would have more accurately called Cheaters.

    But it's good to know people are reading what I have to say, whether they think I'm full of it or not. [​IMG]
     
  10. Jillian O

    Jillian O Auditioning

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    Ben Chaplin is great. Nicole Kidman is Amazing! The Russian accent, the sex, the cigarette after cigarette, even the vomitting is worthy of a good review for "Birthday Girl." Ben Chaplin as the leading man was a bit odd at first. He will always be remembered as the Brit who had phone sex with Jeanine Garofalo in The Truth About Cats and Dogs. His character becomes more exciting (and less phone sex reminiscent) as he ties Kidman to the bed and engages in some real sex.
    The French men made fantastic Russians. The accents are believable. The clothing bizarre.
    I don't believe this film is entirely predictable...if so, it is most likely because of the trailer, which often gives too much away. Either way, it kept my attention and suspense--and enduring admiration for Nicole Kidman.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    I'm confused. If this is a discussion thread, why are Spoiler blocks being used?

    Mark, I was shocked that you said "the title doesn’t really mean anything in relation to the plot" in your review.

    I don't think any of the photos were taken on her actual birthday. As Derek said, it's just an angle of the con, a good reason (for the sucker's benefit) for the two "cousins" to show up. People tend to let down their guard on birthdays, and at birthday celebrations. He was surprised at these guys showing up, but I think he would have been even more suspicious, maybe, if they'd arrived on just any old day. So, I think the title of the film is closely related to the whole set up of the con and means everything to the plot/con as presented. It may still be a mundane title for a film by itself, but I don't think it's meaningless.

    My reaction to the film was about halfway between yours and Scott's. Nicole is magnetic, and if the film had been more about her character (I agree with you about that) it would have been even better to me.
     
  12. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Vickie, I understand your point. I just think it's a poor title, but it isn't a sticking point in regard to the film. And who knows, maybe it was a lazy writerly (is that even a word?) trick on my part? I saw two other films on the same day and had a problem with the title of one of the others too.

    As for the issue of him letting his guard down with it being her birthday, hadn't he already started to do that? He wasn't removing the ring before going to work. Plus, she only told him about the birthday a few hours prior to the celebration. (It's possible I'm off on these details since I've seen five films theatrically since Birthday Girl, which is part of the reason why I'm cranking out full reviews to supplement the TV program. It gets to easy to scramble details and forget them.)

    The title wasn't a hang-up as far as evaluating the film goes. (There were enough other problems on which to focus.) I guess it just seemed nondescript and tenuous in relation to what the movie is about.
     
  13. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I hated this movie! I've never liked Ben Chaplin, and still find him a bland leading man. Had Nicole's profile not been raised after "Moulin Rouge" and "The Others", this film shot previous to those 2 would likely not have received a wide release.

    The script is ludicrous, and the tonal shifts in the movie just don't work. Nobody at the bank questions him leaving the vault area with the guitar cases, no one mentions the sudden appearance of a wedding ring (not even the woman teller next to him who seemed mildly interested), the Russians bought a guitar with the cases and kept it around so John could conveniently hit him over the head with it, the tiny child's sweater had no opportunity to be folded together with the sweater Nadia made for her boyfriend, etc.) Ultimately, I just didn't care about the characters.
     
  14. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Again, what's with the Spoiler tags?? Wouldn't anyone coming into a discussion thread understand that spoilers would be rampant? I thought that discussion is what sets these threads apart from Review threads. I wouldn't expect major spoilers in a Review thread.

     
  15. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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  16. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    *edit*
     
  17. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor

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